Battle of Bosworth
The Battle of Bosworth, or Battle of Bosworth Field, is one of the main battles of the English Wars of the Roses , in which King Richard III's troops . were defeated by Heinrich Tudor, Earl of Richmond, who then ascended the English throne as Henry VII . Richard III's armies and Richmonds met on August 22, 1485 at Bosworth Field. The battle ended with the death of Richard III, who was the last English king to be killed in battle. The battle was decided by the fact that Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland , behaved neutrally with his troops and Richard's allies Lord Thomas Stanley and Sir William Stanley switched sides. The Battle of Bosworth Field almost marked the end of the Wars of the Roses; the last resistance of Henry VII's opponents ended with the battle of Stoke .
Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, was the last remaining pretender of the House of Lancaster to the English throne in 1485 . While in exile in France, he managed to gather sufficient support from the French and Scottish royal families. With the promise to marry Elizabeth of York, the daughter of Edward IV , he also gained support in the Yorkist camp . When Richard III, King of England and representative of the House of York, learned that Henry Tudor was planning an invasion of England, he rallied troops. In central Nottingham , Richard hoped to strike quickly in all directions, depending on where Henry Tudor landed.
Henry Tudor finally left France on August 1, 1485 with an army of 600 exiles and 2000 French and Scottish mercenaries. On August 7th, he landed in Milford Haven , Wales , hoping to collect further support in Wales through his uncle Jasper Tudor . He also tried to contact his stepfather, Thomas Stanley , Lord Stanley.
Because of the family ties to Richmond, Richard III mistrusted. Lord Stanley, which is why he held his son, Lord Strange, hostage. Lord Stanley and his brother, Sir William Stanley, held back because of this situation and did not openly profess their support for Richmond.
Richard moved with his troops under the leadership of John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk , including an army under Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland, in the direction of Sutton Cheney. Richmond and his troops camped four miles away at Whitemoors, while the Stanleys positioned themselves at some distance from both armies.
Course of the battle
According to some sources, Richard posted his troops near or on Ambien Hill, two miles south of Market Bosworth. Richmond's army outnumbered Richard's army. So John de Vere, Earl of Oxford, Richmond's commanding troops, decided to line up the army in a single line with only two wings instead of the vanguard, center and rear guard, with infantry in the middle and cavalry on the flanks. Richmond, who was little experienced militarily, stayed with the reserve.
The fight initially began with archers. Richmond's troops began the fight and worked their way through the marshland towards Richard's forces as Richard's artillery fired at them. When the Norfolk troops were very reluctant to take part in the fight, the Earl of Oxford increased his efforts, which resulted in violent hand-to-hand combat. Although Richard requested reinforcements from Norfolk, Richard's troops could not get through. Norfolk itself was killed and its forces repulsed. The Earl of Northumberland, on the other hand, did not take part in the battle with his troops on the grounds that he had to keep an eye on the Stanley forces.
There was a brief chance Richard might win the fight when Richard and his personal entourage got as far as Heinrich Tudor and almost managed to kill him. At that moment Lord Stanley intervened in the fight on behalf of Henry Tudor. Richard and his entourage were encircled and Richard was killed on the battlefield. The royal army then disbanded. According to some sources, his crown was given to Heinrich Tudor while still on the battlefield.
Consequences of the battle
The Battle of Bosworth marked the end of the House of York. Many of the Yorkists died in the battle, including the Duke of Norfolk. The Earl of Northumberland, who remained largely neutral due to inactivity in battle, was initially captured but later released. He was allowed to return to his lands, but remained very unpopular in the north of England because of his attitude in battle. Thomas Stanley was rewarded with the title of Earl of Derby for his change of sides from Henry VII.
Heinrich, who can be regarded as the representative of the "red rose" of the former House of Lancaster, married the daughter of the late King Edward IV and thus an heiress from the House of York. The bitter feud between the two noble houses was thus largely ended, also because a large part of the House of York had died in the battle. Heinrich also had to assert himself against pretenders afterwards , for example against Lambert Simnel in 1487 , who however lost the Battle of Stoke , whereby the Wars of the Roses were finally ended.
The location of the battlefield
The location of the Bosworth battlefield is controversial among historians, although archaeological excavations in the 2000s brought new knowledge. Contemporary sources do not speak of Bosworth, this place does not appear in Polydor Virgil's Anglia Historia until 25 years later . Some historians have suggested the battle at Ambion Hill, near Sutton Cheney; the official Battlefield Center of the Leicestershire Country Council is nearby. Historian William Hutton, in his 1788 pamphlet, Battle of Bosworth Field, claimed that the battle took place directly on Ambion Hill, a mile from Market Bosworth . Later historians have refuted this theory and suspect the battle in the fields near the town of Dadlington. This thesis is also supported by archaeological finds near Dadlington, including cannonballs, believed to have been used by the Richard III artillery. and a uniform badge with a boar near Fenn Lane's farm. Other finds were found at a different location, Mill Field, believed to be the former location of the old Dadlington windmill.
- Martin J. Dougherty: The Wars of the Roses . Amber Books, London 2015, ISBN 978-1-78274-239-5 .
- Anthony Goodman: The Wars of the Roses: Military Activity and English Society, 1452-97 . Routledge & Kegan Paul, London 1981, ISBN 0-415-05264-5 .
- Philip A. Haigh: The Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses . Sutton Publishing, Stroud 1995, ISBN 0-7509-1430-0 .
- Peter Reid: Medieval Warfare . Carroll & Graf, New York 2007, ISBN 978-0-78671-859-7 .
- Jürgen Sarnowsky: England in the Middle Ages . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2002.
- Desmond Seward: The Wars of the Roses and the Lives of Five Men and Women in the Fifteenth Century . Constable, London 1995, ISBN 0-09-474100-X .
- Chris Skidmore: Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors . Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 2013, ISBN 978-0-297-86376-2 .
- Archaeologists nail Bosworth Field: Finally reveal site of Richard III's downfall , February 19, 2010
- John A. Wagner: Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses . ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, California 2001, ISBN 1-85109-358-3 , p. 33.
- John A. Wagner: Encyclopedia of the Wars of the Roses . ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, California 2001, ISBN 1-85109-358-3 , p. 34.
- Anthony Goodman: The Wars of the Roses: Military Activity and English Society, 1452-97 . Routledge & Kegan Paul, London 1981, ISBN 0-415-05264-5 , p. 91.
- Chris Skidmore: Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors . Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 2013, ISBN 978-0-297-86376-2 , p. 287.
- Martin J. Dougherty: The Wars of the Roses . Amber Books, London 2015, ISBN 978-1-78274-239-5 , p. 197.
- Martin J. Dougherty: The Wars of the Roses . Amber Books, London 2015, ISBN 978-1-78274-239-5 , pp. 197-200.
- Chris Skidmore: Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors . Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 2013, ISBN 978-0-297-86376-2 , pp. 311-312.
- Philip A. Haigh: The Military Campaigns of the Wars of the Roses . Sutton Publishing, Stroud 1995, ISBN 0-7509-1430-0 , p. 163.
- Chris Skidmore: Bosworth: The Birth of the Tudors . Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London 2013, ISBN 978-0-297-86376-2 , pp. 376-389.